The End of Internet Knife Sales. Law change could target one-hand opening folders

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C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,661
1,595
Bedfordshire
Update 30 November 2020
Now law, but being very slow to roll out, and the way it is written is difficult to read or understand easily, being filled with many amendments to the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

However, there are new sections that people should be aware of.


Particularly to the sale and mailing of knives. Like the carry of a knife in a public place, the offence is having mailed a knife to a private address. There are defences, but the onus is on the accused, not the prosecution.

The wording of flick knife law is not really clear, which is likely by design. It can be interpreted as covering flipper locking folders.


The government has released its White Paper for Consultation.

Offensive and dangerous weapons: new legislation

CLOSING DATE 11:45pm 9 December 2017

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/offensive-and-dangerous-weapons-new-legislation

Its a heavy read, but unless you live outside the UK, and have no interest in knives to or from the UK,
YOU need to read it.

The proposed changes will have a significant impact on the members of this forum and those that supply your knives and tools. If they all go through unopposed and as drafted, expect it to mean that:
  • Some businesses will cease trading. ie. Heinnie Haynes would have to downsize at the least, and may cease.
  • Many craftsmen and hobby makers will drift to other activities, same as quitting.
  • Anyone who wants to buy or sell a knife through the forum will have additional hurdles and expenses, if it is not down right prohibited.
  • And worst, that all single handed opening knives (lock or not) could be reclassified as "flick knives", which are also to be reclassified as illegal to own even in your own home.

There is more...

This is a very real and imminent threat. It may be that it is inevitable. But if we all sit and do nothing, what does that make us.

So, reply to the consultation.

Addendum: Upon further study, the questions in the consultation are very leading. Essentially, the answer has to be "no" unless you fully agree with what they propose.

Write to your MP. Talk to everyone you know who uses a knife, or appreciates anything better than what they can find in Asda or the local fishing shop. Get them to write in if you can.

There are bound to be some example letters coming out soon. There were a couple of good ones in the run up.



Do not take this thread as a chance to vent your political spleen. The already restrictive laws we live with have been brought in by both Labour and Conservatives. These new laws will persist through whatever party we have next. Tony and the Mods are allowing this thread on the basis that this issue transcends political parties. Please act on that basis.
 
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C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,661
1,595
Bedfordshire
I had an email from Heinnie a few days ago, it appears to be mostly the same as the blog entry that they released in July. There are some differences though, like they are running their stock down, which they didn't mention in July.

http://mailchi.mp/heinnie/is-this-the-end-of-online-knife-sales-450821


Dear Heinnie Haynes customer,

As many of you may be aware, we are facing the prospect of the biggest
changes to knife legislation that we have seen as an industry in the last 100
years. If passed this will effectively mean that we will no longer be able to
supply knives to you.

On July 18th, 2017, the Home Secretary announced her intention to tighten
the law in order to stop under 18s being able to purchase knives. The
proposed measures would mean anyone who bought a knife online would be
required to collect it in person, with retailers responsible for checking the age
of all buyers at their retail location.
These measures, if enacted, would of course have a huge impact on our
business. Heinnie Haynes® is the UK’s largest online retailer of knives and
their accessories.

We’ve been trading online since 1996, and from the beginning, we’ve taken
our social responsibility extremely seriously. When you’ve shopped with us,
you’ll have noticed that we won’t sell a knife to anyone under the age of 18
years. We check out ages by reference to a number of sources, or by asking
the customer to supply us with proof of age. This means that we have to
occasionally turn away orders. We will not sell a knife to any person aged
under 18.

The new offences would mean knives “could no longer be delivered to private
property, making it harder for underage sales to go undetected”. Clearly, this
would have an impact on us as an online business. Unless every customer
was able to make the trek to the hallowed corner of a Barry industrial estate
that is the home of Heinnie Haynes, our sales of knives would effectively
cease overnight.

We are concerned that the proposed new offences will do little to curb the sale
of knives to the under-18’s. We’ve seen over the years that the requirement
for face-to-face age verification is not a panacea for the legal sale of knives. It
is already illegal to sell most knives to under 18’s, but test purchases by
Trading Standards, as well as the Met’s Operation Sceptre show that despite
the current law prohibiting sale, it’s still possible for children to purchase
knives in “bricks & mortar” stores. By making “bricks & mortar” the only
channel for purchasing a knife will not solve the problem.

By removing the UK’s online knife market, the government is unlikely to stop
citizens buying knives online. We recognise that it’s entirely possible for an
individual to purchase knives from overseas and import them into the UK
themselves without any age verification taking place. Any new law will not
impact the ability to ship into the UK of those companies based overseas.
Here at Heinnie Haynes, we’re fortunate to be able to handle some of the
most sought-after knives available to the collector and the outdoorsman. Our
range is vast, and is made possible by our ability to send our products around
the UK. It is simply not practical to expect this range to be available in a single
store, or chain, which is available to the majority of the UK population to visit
in person.

We welcome and support the efforts of the UK government to control the
scourge that is knife crime, which has no place in our society. However, we
contend that banning the sale of knives online would only serve to drive sales
underground and overseas.
There are several ways in which knife sales online can be regulated, and we
offer our support to the Government in working on new legislation that would
prevent the sale of knives to minors without preventing the legitimate sale of
knives to the collector, the outdoorsman and serious customer.
To date the exact contents of the Home Office’s proposals have not been
made public, however we are aware that a consultation period will start during
this autumn.

As you will appreciate, this is an uncertain time for us. We usually hold
excellent stock of every model featured on Heinnie.com® , Facing the
prospect of no longer being able to deliver our extensive range of knives to
your door, we have been forced to review our stock. This means over the
past weeks, we have been running down our stockholdings of some of our
slower-selling knives. In most cases you may still order these for delivery prior
to any changes in the legislation taking place. You will of course enjoy our
extra speedy delivery for items that are indicated as in stock.
If you have ever fancied that one special piece for your collection, an Extrema
Ratio perhaps, or a Rockstead, or just a plain Fallkniven F1 now may be a
good time to order.

If you have a point of view on this matter, we’d be grateful if you could channel
your energy into contacting your local MP, who is best placed to pass your
view on to the Home Secretary. You can find your MP using this link:

http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps/

We thank you for your patience, support and custom.

The Heinnie Haynes Team
 

slowworm

Full Member
May 8, 2008
1,361
368
Devon
What is meant by "one handed folder"? In the legislation it refers to flick knives not a simple knife that can be opened with one hand.
 

sunndog

Full Member
May 23, 2014
3,567
472
derbyshire
What is meant by "one handed folder"? In the legislation it refers to flick knives not a simple knife that can be opened with one hand.

Y'know those knives you don't use cos they are a p.i.t.a to open and bend yer thumbnail back?.....yeah, its just those they want you to have

Coming soon. All knives must be painted in bright primary colours and have a landrover wheel permanently attached via steel lanyard to reduce concealment :rolleyes:
 

mark.177

Maker
Apr 21, 2014
722
152
Cornwall UK
"Many craftsmen and hobby makers will drift to other activities, same as quitting."

upsetting but true, as sad as it is im looking for other options/crafts. it'll kill uk knife making
 

nigeltm

Full Member
Aug 8, 2008
484
14
52
south Wales
I have just emailed Stephen Kinnock. The content of the email is below if it is of use to anyone.

"Dear Mr Kinnock,

I would like to express my concern and objection to the proposed changes to the legislation relating to the ownership and right to carry one of man's oldest and most useful tools.

I acknowledge that the illegal use of sharp and pointed objects is a concern. However, other than those with an almost fetishistic fascination with fantasy/zombie knives, for which there is extant and sufficient legislation, the vast majority of knife crime is carried out using household and kitchen knives. Knives which are available for purchase from your nearest superstore.

My concern is that this change to legislation will be near to ineffective in curbing the problem, while making criminals of a vast number of law abiding and responsible members of society. People who have a reasonable need for tools, access to which will be restricted and in some cases reclassified as "flick knives" and not legal for carry in public.

For example, I am a Neath resident and member of the Western Beacons Mountain Search and Rescue Team. The Team carries out technical/cliff rescue operations involving complex rope systems in dangerous circumstances. Every Team member carries a knife, most of which are openable with one hand, or in some cases may be fixed blades. These folding knives are opened one handed through the use of a thumb stud or groove in the back of the blade. This is essential, as a failure of the rescue rope system may leave the Team member's arms trapped or in some other way restrained. A knife which is quick and easy to deploy would be a lifesaver in this situation. MR Teams also carry our swift water river operations, for which a rescue knife is an essential item and is carried in every water kit bag and rescue vehicle. These safety devices are not "flick knives", as defined by the Offensive Weapons Act, 1959.

I carry such a knife in my car every day as part of my MR callout kit. This is permitted under Section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.

In addition to this I have in my car a rescue knife. This is designed to be deployed single handed in the event of a RTC. It would be used to cut seat-belts, break windows and other tasks required to save lives. It will never be used to carry out an armed robbery or to harm another person. Again, the Criminal Justice Act 1988 applies and allows this.

Further to this I have an interest in bushcraft and wild camping. This is a thriving and growing pass-time in the UK. So much so that one of the largest bushcraft forums in the world is run by residents of Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend. The largest bushcraft "Moot" in the UK takes place in Merthyr Mawr twice a year, with other, smaller meets across the country through out the year. This includes exhibitions at the NEC, over many days and attended by thousands of people. As well as a hobby, bushcraft is used by youth services across the country to socialise and help young people from all parts of the country, including inner city areas.

The proposed changes in legislation will have three significant impacts:

  1. Limiting the legal right to carry an everyday tool which is seldom used to commit crime, as I have described above.
  2. Limiting the ability to purchase these tools. There are very few retailers in South Wales who sell specialist rescue equipment and bushcraft products. Purchasers will not be able to gain access to these, now restricted, items.
  3. Severely impacting established small businesses and craftsmen who make and sell knives ranging from simple pen knives to works of art costing £1000 plus. This legislation will see businesses closing (Hennie Hayes is one of the largest online retailers in this area, is based in South Wales and is already running down its stock in anticipation of closing the business as a result of this legislation) and the loss of traditional and long established craftsmanship, as these craftsmen will not be able to send their products to their customers.

I, my MR team mates and the thousands of bushcraft practitioners across the UK are not criminals. We are the quiet majority who's voice is drowned out by the screams of the minority who demand that "something must be done!". We struggle to be heard in the background of the media and special interest groups who demand change and heard by a government that appears to believe that the appearance of doing something is necessary, even when the "something" may be disproportionate and of little practical value.

Please stand up for the majority and encourage your colleagues to focus on the societal and economic issues which give rise to the causes of knife crime. Treat the cause of the disease and not the symptoms. Reducing inequality, improving education standards and opportunity for our young people is a long and un-glamorous task but over time it will reduce the crime statistics and improve people's lives.

The UK has some of the strictest knife legislation in the world. More legislation is not the change we need.

Yours sincerely,

Nigel Morgan
​Western Beacons Mountain Search and Rescue Team "


Edited to correct formatting
 

jmagee

Forager
Aug 20, 2014
127
9
Cumbria
A scary thought. I have a knife in my buoyancy aid. It's a piece of safety equipment and needs to be opened single handed. If laws change they have to consider users who have a genuine need for such items

Sent from my ONEPLUS A3003 using Tapatalk
 
Jul 30, 2012
3,571
224
westmidlands
This is getting beyond a joke, they know most knives/blades use by people in attacks are gained through brick and mortar kitchen stores for 5 quid, either purchaced or stolen, others are chanced upon elsewhere. Just because they make laws doesn't make them legal, a knife carried isn't a crime fixed or lock or not, no matter how big . The reason for carry is ignored, and ration has gone out the window. They will make having fire illegal next. Surely under 18 carrying knives at all without the written permission of the guardian is a better way to go, and then you could prosecute the guardian too!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4581871.stm
 
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Chui

Tenderfoot
Feb 18, 2010
51
2
London
Unfortunately, British Blades is no more, and as many of you know, they had a large membership from all their years in being.

Myself and two others started Edge Matters 2-1/2yrs ago and we have a fairly healthy number of members, but nothing like BB had.

We really do need to do something about this....seriously.

Of course, there will be BCUK members who are not affected, possibly bothered, by these recent government proposals. However, it is potentially going to have far reaching effects.

We, on EM, will be urging our members to join BASC - but, as many will say, that's a tall and expensive order - we cannot see another way of getting behind an organisation that will be listened to.

Do we want knife crime to be brought to zero - yes, of course. No doubt at all. However, we do not believe these proposals are at all fair, have not been reasonably thought through, no consultation with anyone, will have no real effect.........it all needs questioning. This is not a time for getting upset, it's a time to put forward full and reasonable examples of why law-abiding people of all ages and backgrounds should be able to use a simple penknife and also be allowed to own other types. I've carried a wee penknife since I was in the Cubs and the Scouts - "Be Prepared" was the motto.........that's about to be taken away from us all.

For example, if any of you are familiar with the Spyderco UKPK - a penknife developed to fully comply with the S.139 carry laws - it will potentially not only be unlawful to carry, but also to own.

As Chris very rightly says, we must not sit and do nothing.
 
Jul 24, 2017
1,162
443
somerset
Survey done, Ho man this is truly insanity! I just don't get it, its a person's will that takes an item and makes a weapon of it, don't we already have laws about conduct of will and harm to others?
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,280
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
"Many craftsmen and hobby makers will drift to other activities, same as quitting."

upsetting but true, as sad as it is im looking for other options/crafts. it'll kill uk knife making

Knitting needles might be next....

There must be a way to design a folder so both hands are needed. Maybe one lock on the spine and one lock on the side?

The existing knives will they be grandfathered, or illegal to own?
 

Laurentius

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 13, 2009
2,055
328
Knowhere
Technically that would render various popular versions of the locking SAK to be illegal, I doubt much that part will hold. It comes to a point though where the law gets so absurd you might as well ignore it, that is known as an own goal because if something like a Spyderco UKPK becomes a flick knife you might as well own a balisong, a flick knife and a set of knuckle dusters for all the difference it will make.

There was a stabbing close to where I live recently and all the Council can talk about is a knife amnesty, as if the kids who carry knives care a toss about amnesties, but it does produce good headlines in the paper, when the inevitable stock picture of a Batleth makes it's appearance.
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
5,371
1,853
W.Sussex
"Many craftsmen and hobby makers will drift to other activities, same as quitting."

upsetting but true, as sad as it is im looking for other options/crafts. it'll kill uk knife making

It is Mark, it's already killing the industry.

Our good Transylvanian maker has to send his knives to me in the UK to send on to the USA. It costs him loads more money to do it this way and he suffers financially. It's bloody ridiculous that artisan makers cannot send tools abroad, let alone us being limited to Swiss Army knives. One handed opening is essential while holding a packet or piece of string, rope etc. I have a few SAKs, but I don't use them much because they're not the best option. I will still be using a decent Spyderco despite this silly fuss.

Once again, we're treated like the nations tiny tots, being nannied and made to wear nappies by the state. I can't find a smilie that fits my general view, and to Tony and the staff I'll apologise if this is too political. This lot are flailing away at things in the dark, they have not a clue, and it reeks of desperation for some kind of ill deserved respect for a ship of fools.
 
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nitrambur

Settler
Jan 14, 2010
750
70
51
Nottingham
E. Updating the definition of a flick knifeEngland, Wales and Scotland
The current definition of flick knives in the Restriction of Offensive Weapons Act 1959 is outdated and refers to the mechanism that activates the blade being in the handle. We will delete the reference to the switch blade mechanism being in the handle, as manufacturers now place the mechanism in a part of the knife that can be argued is part of the blade.This means the prohibition on the sale, manufacture and importing of flick knives cannot be circumvented through changes in their design.

The above is lifted from the "Consultation on new legislation on offensive and dangerous weapons" document, that doesn't equate to one hand openers to me, that equates to spring assisted knives that we all knew were in a bit of a grey area anyway.
 

nigeltm

Full Member
Aug 8, 2008
484
14
52
south Wales
Technically that would render various popular versions of the locking SAK to be illegal, I doubt much that part will hold. It comes to a point though where the law gets so absurd you might as well ignore it, that is known as an own goal because if something like a Spyderco UKPK becomes a flick knife you might as well own a balisong, a flick knife and a set of knuckle dusters for all the difference it will make.
In work I have to negotiate budget, contracts and the like. I go in with a list. In that list are a number of items I don't care about, which can be dropped. This is a negotiating strategy. I can play the nice guy by giving ground on the points which don't matter to me. I play the nice guy while getting what I wanted in the first place.

This smells to me like the government appeasing the snowflakes. Then giving ground to placate the objectors to the legislation. All the while getting the legislation they wanted and favourable coverage in the media. Slimy, duplicitous beasts.
 
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nigeltm

Full Member
Aug 8, 2008
484
14
52
south Wales
The above is lifted from the "Consultation on new legislation on offensive and dangerous weapons" document, that doesn't equate to one hand openers to me, that equates to spring assisted knives that we all knew were in a bit of a grey area anyway.
You have two parts to the knife: handle and blade. The spring component of an assisted opening knife is still in the handle. If it was the equivalent of a flick knife then that could be established in case law, where the CPS prosecution would argue the case in front of a court. The court would then establish the precedent, if the CPS case stood up.

By making this change to primary legislation it gets debated in the echo chamber which is parliament. It does not get tested against current legislation. This is a media opportunity for politicians with no real benefit to society.
 
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richy3333

Full Member
Jan 23, 2017
225
56
Far NW Scoootland
This is such utter nonsense. I’ll be writing to the Scottish and English parliament. Restrictions like this won’t solve the problem. It hasn’t done so with firearms, people still get shot. Ok, there’s less firearms ‘available’ nut there always has been; but thre must literally be billions of knives (of all types) in general circulation in the uk. To coin the old phrase knives don’t kill people, people kill people!?
 

daveO

Full Member
Jun 22, 2009
1,404
464
South Wales
You have two parts to the knife: handle and blade. The spring component of an assisted opening knife is still in the handle. If it was the equivalent of a flick knife then that could be established in case law, where the CPS prosecution would argue the case in front of a court. The court would then establish the precedent, if the CPS case stood up.

By making this change to primary legislation it gets debated in the echo chamber which is parliament. It does not get tested against current legislation. This is a media opportunity for politicians with no real benefit to society.

For that to be the case every type of assisted opening knife would have had to have been used in a crime which has been brought to court and the case against it won. I think the point here is that auto knives are being sold that are trying to bypass the current law (flippers and that type of thing I assume?) And the government wants to get them included in the current definition. The thing to get clear is how the definition will be written but so far i see no threat to any one handed folders thatvdont have an inbuilt assisted opening mechanism.
 
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